Argentina “very enthusiastic” ahead of Sevens Challenger finale in Krakow

We preview the third and final round of the women’s World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 in Poland, where Las Yaguaretés will book their place in the HSBC SVNS 2025 Play-off tournament if they reach the Cup semi-finals.

Argentina head into the final round of the women’s World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 knowing that a run to the Cup semi-finals will guarantee their passage to the HSBC SVNS 2025 Play-off tournament in Madrid.

Las Yaguaretés currently sit second in the overall standings having followed up their bronze medal performance at the opening round in Dubai with a runners-up finish in Montevideo in March.

It means a repeat in Poland this weekend would take them one step closer to becoming a SVNS core team for the very first time.


The top four in the standings at the end of the third and final round at Henryk Reyman’s Municipal Stadium will take their place in the Play-off tournament between 31 May - 2 June, against the bottom four from HSBC SVNS 2024 – Japan, Brazil, South Africa and Spain.

Argentina coach Nahuel García believes his players have the skill required to compete with those teams and says they are excited to show that this weekend.

“The team is very enthusiastic about being able to play and be competitive in Poland,” García said.

“The team is very aware of the opportunity they have to qualify for Madrid. To play in Madrid we would be able to measure ourselves with teams from the world sevens circuit.

“We know that this is going to be something very hard and demanding, but today the team knows that it has the tools to be able to travel that path and with a lot of work build that opportunity into a reality.”

Las Yaguaretés have been drawn in Pool B in Krakow, alongside Papua New Guinea, Paraguay and Uganda.

García’s side have not faced Papua New Guinea during this year’s Sevens Challenger, but they have won against Uganda twice and Paraguay once.

They also beat Paraguay twice in regional competition last year, but García’s attention in preparation for Krakow has been solely on his own team.

“The focus in terms of performance is on improving our attacking consistency, improving the percentage of possession [and] being able to translate that into points,” he said.

“Also, to be stronger defensively when the opposition attack; we have a great opportunity for improvement.

“We know we’ve had defensive failures in the last tournament, and we are putting a lot of focus on our way of defending and making the team more effective when playing without the ball.”

That said, García is confident his team can get the job done. “Our task in Poland is to play our best rugby,” he said. “The final in Madrid, if we get there, will be a consequence of this.

“We will focus on each moment, each ball and each match, and our main objective [is to] get into the semi-finals with that ambition to always play in a final again and if we do, win the tournament."

Standings leaders China will compete in Pool A, against Czechia, Hong Kong China and Thailand.

Hong Kong China and Czechia start the tournament eighth and ninth respectively and with their hopes of qualifying for Madrid already over.

Thailand can still mathematically make it to the Spanish capital but start the weekend 10 points adrift of fourth-placed Belgium meaning their chances of progressing are slim.

In Pool C, Belgium, Kenya and hosts Poland all start the tournament with hopes of ending the Challenger inside the top four.

Despite reaching the final of the opening tournament in Dubai, where they lost to China, Kenya head to Krakow four points adrift of the top four thanks to an eighth-placed finish last time out.

Poland, meanwhile, are two points further back having endured a disappointing campaign so far. The 2022 runners-up finished sixth in Dubai and fifth in Montevideo.

It means they must make a deep run at their home tournament to have any hope of forcing their way up the standings and into the coveted top four positions.

Mexico, who start the final round bottom of the women’s standings, complete the Pool C line-up and will be determined to finish the 2024 Challenger on a high ahead of the World Rugby Sevens Repechage in Monaco next month when the final qualifier for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 will be decided.